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11 August, 2020 Open access

Welsh Government increases funding for its coronavirus homelessness response to £50 million

New funding made available in addition to initial £10 million response that enabled all rough sleepers to be given shelter, and will be used for longer-term support and accommodation

The Welsh Government has confirmed it is making up to £50 million available to support people given emergency shelter during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Following its initial £10 million ‘phase 1’ response to coronavirus, that has been used to provide emergency shelter to all those who need it during the coronavirus outbreak, Minister for Housing and Local Government Julie James has announced further funding for phase 2 of the Welsh Government’s response -

‘I have been clear that I do not wish to see anyone forced to return to the streets. We have a unique opportunity to change the services and change lives for the better - and make homelessness rare, brief and unrepeated. We want to build on the success we have seen so far and change Wales’ approach to homelessness in the long term.

To that end I have increased the overall homelessness phase 2 funding to up to £50 million, which clearly demonstrates the level of commitment we have to ensuring we can make a truly significant and transformational step-change towards achieving our goal of ending homelessness in Wales.’

In addition, setting out what it hopes to achieve with the funding, the Welsh Government says -

‘Phase 2 focuses on a longer term approach to transform services, innovate and build accommodation, with the ambition of ensuring everyone who was provided with emergency accommodation during the coronavirus pandemic has a clear route to permanent housing and providing high quality accommodation for those who are threatened with homelessness in the future.’

NB - the Welsh Government has also outlined additional measures that it has introduced to support tenants in financial difficulty to stay in their homes during the pandemic, including a temporary increase in the notice period for eviction, £1.4 million funding for additional debt advice services through the Single Advice Fund, and a new Tenant Saver Loan Scheme to provide loans to cover rent arrears, or future months’ rent, available for tenants who were not in 'significant' rent arrears prior to 1 March 2020.

For more information, see Welsh Government unveils package of support to keep people in their homes and end homelessness from gov.wales